Chicken Breed Selections By USDA Hardiness Zones

Oh my! Decisions, decisions, decisions!

When selecting the right chicken breed or breeds it can be challenging especially when selecting breeds that do well in certain climates. Most chicken breeds are both cold and heat hardy however there are certain breeds that will do better in warmer climates than colder and vice versa. The USDA provides an excellent map for our regions and states based on temperatures and plant hardiness zones which is a good reference to look at when considering breeds.

You may wonder what makes a breed heat/cold hardy. There are several factors that play a role in if your breed or breeds will be better in the heat or cold or maybe they are considered to be suitable for both climates. Heat hardy breeds are going to be lighter in their color patterns that help reflect sunlight, have lesser body mass and more exposed skin especially their combs. Large combs work to easily radiate heat away from their bodies. Cold hardy breeds will have a larger body mass and smaller combs and wattles. In the colder months, chickens with larger combs and waddles are more susceptible to frostbite.

Breed Selections By USDA Plant Hardiness Zones

The Rhode Island Red breed does great in the northern half of the United States where winters are cold, but can easily adapt to any US location.

Breed Selections By USDA Plant Hardiness Zones

The Blue Andalusian breed is a great choice for southern locations.

Suggested Breeds by State:

Listed are every state and a few suggested breeds suitable for that portion of the United States. If a breed is not listed by your specific state, it does not mean the breed you want will not do well in your area.

Alabama: Blue Laced Polish, Frost White Legbar, White Marans

Alaska: Black Australorp, Golden Laced Wyandotte, Partridge Cochin

Arizona: Egyptian Fayoumis, Partridge Penedesenca, White Leghorn

Arkansas: Austra White, Barred Rock, Dark Brahma

California: Green Queen, Lavender Orpington, Silver Spangled Hamburg

Colorado: Columbian Wyandotte, Lakeshore Egger, Delaware

Connecticut: Blue Cochin, Buckeye, Heritage Barred Plymouth Rock

Delaware: Ancona, Dominique, Silver Laced Wyandotte 

Florida: Assorted Polish, Blue Andalusian, White Leghorn

Georgia: Blue Andalusian, Blue Splash Marans, Golden Buff

Hawaii: Light Brown Leghorn, Mottled Houdan, White Sultan

Idaho: Barnevelder, Black Jersey Giant, Blue Orpington

Illinois: Buff Chantecler, Silver Gray Dorking, Welsummer

Indiana: Blue Ameraucana, Buff Orpington, Lakeshore Egger

Iowa: Blue Orpington, Easter Egger, Silver Spangled Appenzeller Spitzhauben

Kansas: Black Jersey Giant, Frost White Legbar, Jubilee Orpington, 

Kentucky: Black Copper Marans, Dominique, Silver Spangled Hamburg

Louisiana: Blue Andalusian, Light Brown Leghorn, White Marans

Maine: Blue Ameraucana, Blue Laced Red Wyandotte, Buckeye

Maryland: Barred Rock, Buff Brahma, Partridge Cochin

Massachusetts:, Columbian Wyandotte, Heritage Barred Plymouth Rock, Speckled Sussex

Michigan: Delaware, Blue Ameraucana, Jubilee Orpington

Minnesota: Blue Laced Red Wyandotte, Lavender Orpington, Silver Gray Dorking

Mississippi: Austra White, Black Australorp, Cuckoo Marans

Missouri: Barnevelder, Golden Cuckoo Marans, Light Brahma

Montana: Dominique, Salmon Faverolles, Silver Laced Wyandotte

Nebraska: Ancona, Black Jersey Giant, Welsummer

Nevada: Assorted Polish, Mottled Houdan, Partridge Penedeseca

New Hampshire: Buff Orpington, New Hampshire Red, Silver Laced Cochin

New Jersey: Buckeye, Delaware, White Cochin

New Mexico: Egyptian Fayoumis, Exchequer Leghorn, White Sultan

New York: Buff Brahma, Golden Laced Wyandotte, Speckled Sussex

North Carolina: Blue Copper Marans, Green Queen, Jubilee Orpington

North Dakota: Columbian Wyandotte, Dark Brahma, Partridge Cochin

Ohio: Blue Splash Maran, Easter Egger, Golden Buff

Oklahoma: Exchequer Leghorn, Golden Cuckoo Marans, Olive Egger

Oregon: Blue Orpington, Blue Cochin, Speckled Sussex

Pennsylvania: Buff Orpington, Light Brahma, Golden Buff

Rhode Island: Blue Laced Red Wyandotte, Dominique, Rhode Island Red

South Carolina: Assorted Polish, Austra White, Blue Copper Marans

South Dakota: Barnevelder, Dark Brahma, Silver Spangled Appenzeller Spitzhauben

Tennessee: Cuckoo Marans, New Hampshire Red, White Rock

Texas: Blue Copper Marans, Egyptian Fayoumis, Lavender Orpington

Utah: Buff Brahma, Columbian Wyandotte, Frost White Legbar

Vermont: Blue Cochin, Salmon Faverolles, Silver Laced Wyandotte

Virginia: Blue Splash Marans, Dominique, Rhode Island Red 

Washington: Black Jersey Giant, Columbian Wyandotte, Silver Laced Cochin

West Virginia: Ancona, Lakeshore Egger, Welsummer 

Wisconsin: Easter Egger, Jubilee Orpington, Speckled Sussex

Wyoming: Blue Ameraucana, Blue Laced Red Wyandotte, Light Brahma

Breed Selections By USDA Plant Hardiness Zones

Cochins are known for their mothering abilities as well as their extremely docile temperaments. Cochins do well in colder climates.

Breed Selections By USDA Plant Hardiness Zones

Egyptian Fayoumi are great producers of small white eggs. Fayoumis occasionally go broody and are very hardy in hot weather. 

These are only a few suggestions as there are many breeds that will do very well in most climates. If you have any questions regarding breed characteristics or breed hardiness please contact the customer service team at Meyer Hatchery will be happy to answer any questions, via chat, phone or email. Happy chickening!

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